Friday, July 30, 2010

D-Lee Says No to the Angels

I guess Derrek Lee wasn't ready to wave good-bye to Cubs fans just yet!

It came out in the media on Wednesday that Derrek Lee would not allow a trade that would have sent him to the Angels. That was his right as a 5 and 10 man (five years with the same team / ten years in the majors) . And I can't say I blame him. His contract with the Cubs expires this year and it's probable that he will be moving elsewhere. Why go through a mid-season move now and another at the end of the year.

I guess I'm glad that Lee wanted to stick around with the Cubs. While his numbers are down, he still seems like a good person to have on the team and in the clubhouse. Right, Z??

This is the second time that I can think of when a Cubs player refused a trade to the Angels.

The first time happened a long time ago; 1974. And the player to refuse the trade....

...was Ron Santo. In fact, Santo was the first player in MLB history to veto a trade. The 5/10 clause was new during the 1974 off-season. The Cubs were dumping all of the remnants of the 1969 team and had a deal worked out with the Angels.

But Santo had put roots down in the Chicago area and didn't want to be half a continent away from his family. So the Cubs moved on to plan B, and worked out a trade that Santo approved, sending him to....

Notice how Topps used the photo from the 1973 card to make this horrible looking airbrushed traded card.

....the White Sox. The Cubs got four players including pitcher Steve Stone for Santo. The problem for Santo was where to play. The Sox already had an established star at third, Bill Melton. Santo ended spliting time between third, second, and DH. He had the worst year of his career and retired after the season.

Would things have gone better for him if he went to the Angels? We'll never know. Should Lee have gone to California? We shall see how that turns out.


  1. Two comments:
    1) I heard that Derrick Lee said his main reason not to move wasn't the Cubs, but the excellent medical care they have in Chicago for his daughter. Can't fault him for that.
    2) I read Ron Santo's autobiography. Apparently, he didn't want to be traded, period. It didn't really matter where he ended up. He had another year in his contract with the White Sox (at home in Chicago) and he walked away anyway. So, I doubt he would have played any better in California. His heart wasn't in it anymore. (Hope he gets voted into the Hall next year!)

  2. There is quite a story about that Santo trade refusal. He was to be traded for Angels minor leaguer Bruce Heinbechner, who died BEFORE THE NEXT SEASON. Santo was quite haunted by that. Heinbechner's stats: